Elderly People with Disabilities in the Internet Age

Elderly People with Disabilities in the Internet Age

Panagiotis Kyriazopoulos (Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus, Greece), Irene Samanta (Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus, Greece), Rania Christou (Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus, Greece) and Anastasios Ntanos (Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-923-1.ch010
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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to explore behaviour regarding the use of the internet by elderly people with movement disabilities. The study illustrates the ways, and the frequency, that they make use of the internet; while identifying the attitudes of non-users towards the internet. Quantitative research was carried out from a sample of 180 questionnaires divided into dyads (ninety users of the internet and ninety non-users) in order to explore and evaluate the attitudes and views of the elderly. The findings identify the factors that motivate older individuals with disabilities to move towards making use of the internet, and allow an understanding of the reasons why some of them are still distrustful towards the internet.
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Changes In The “Grey Market”

According to Juznic et al. (2006), the internet can be characterised both as a communication tool and an information source which opened up interesting opportunities for marketers Shwu-Ing Wu (2002). Moreover, the internet is also a significant source of consumer information because it is more economical, and at the same time more accessible and user-friendly (Bonn et al., 1999).

However, the degree of “user involvement” in an “internet marketing” activity will illustrate the success of internet marketing, as it plays an essential role regarding consumer behaviour (Lassar et al., 2005). At this point it is vital to highlight some of the variables that influence an individual’s internet behaviour. According to Lassar et al. (2005) the perceived usefulness, the ease of use of the internet, online experiences, and many special characteristics play an important role regarding consumers’ internet behaviour. However, according to Haisken-De New et al. (2001), interest in the internet is strongly related to age, and it is true that internet users are usually the youngest of the population.

Nowadays things have changed and the “grey market” is a growing and increasingly profitable market, according to Pickton and Broderick, 2005. They argue that the “grey market” can be considered as a general term for anyone aged 55 or over. Furthermore, in industrialised countries the “grey market” already accounts for 25% of the population compared to 15% in 1950, and is anticipated to double by 2020. As Moschis (2003) states, the elderly have special needs which are caused by two main factors: the elderly have social differences due to their life circumstances.

There is little knowledge about the attitudes, characteristics, values, behaviour, motivations and concerns of older users and non-users of the internet, especially in Greece. This is a consequence of the fact that, until now, elderly individuals were largely a neglected segment of the population with low economic resources and importance (Moschis, 2003).

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